Local Issues

06 May

Fareham Community Hospital needs to be open for longer & to expand

There is an urgent need for the completion of the Community Hospital. The first half took 25 years to complete; residents should not have to wait so long for the other half!

There is a need for an Accident Treatment Centre to deal with minor injuries; this will reduce the workload at Queen Alexandra Hospital (QAH).  Fareham is one of the very few areas that has a projected increase in the birth rate BUT apart from QAH the only other provision is in Gosport. A birthing centre is therefore required as are beds for elderly care.

Following the closure of the Locks Road surgery, the Brook Lane practice has rented two consulting suites at the community hospital but cannot provide a service beyond 5.30pm although the Hospital is paid for by  the Fareham and Gosport Clinical Commissioning Group (CCG) for 24 hours a day, 7 days a week!  The  British Red Cross Medical Loan store has not been used since the Hospital was opened in 2010. The very efficient Phlebotomy (Blood) Service is only able to operate through the goodwill of the volunteers from the Friends of Fareham Community Hospital who take bookings and man the reception desk. Residents can have a consultant outpatient appointment and then require an MRI scan. Too often this is arranged at QAH even though a mobile scanner visits the community hospital at least once a week. Despite there being an ultrasound suite there is no ultra-sound machine! The main reasons for these problems are because there is not any one person (or NHS organisation) in charge at the Community Hospital, so it is difficult to get anyone to make decisions.

Cllr Seán Woodward who is among those who can justly claim credit for the development of the hospital having campaigned for its provision for the 25 years before it opened has been in dialogue with the Brook Lane Surgery, the CCG: “Despite these issues having been raised many times we do not seem to be seeing any progress. The local GP practice wants to do more in the hospital but is limited in terms of its open access clinics by the hospital opening hours. This hospital is a fantastic but an underused and incomplete asset. I will continue to work to urge the overcoming of the barriers to service expansion.”

Some residents have raised the issue of a bus service to the hospital. Unfortunately each option tried to date has not proven successful; a regular service on Brook Lane was withdrawn due to lack of use, as was a Taxi-share service. Cllr Woodward has raised the issue again with the local bus company and county council.

12 Jul

ZERO yet again! Conservative Council Tax freeze goes on

Your local CONSERVATIVES pulled off another remarkable achievement by maintaining a zero council tax rise for the fifth year running.

When Fareham Borough Council set the figure at £140 in 2009 it received over £6m in Government funding. That figure is now down to £3.5m, but thanks to wise Tory housekeeping you won’t pay a penny more in council
tax in 2013-14.

Presenting his annual budget, Council Leader Seán Woodward said during those 5 years the Tories had delivered efficiencies of over £3m, yet high standards have been maintained and front line services have not been cut to achieve this.

[quote align=”center” color=”#999999″]“During the period of council tax freeze we have effectively saved every Band D taxpayer nearly £25 a year, comparing what it would be with inflation rises.

Car parking charges remain frozen in the town centre and we will continue our policy not to charge in local centres such as Stubbington, Portchester, Warsash, Whiteley and Park Gate.

We continue to have an ambitious capital programme and resources mean it will be £43m over the next 5 years. This will be used for improvements to community facilities, including community centres, children’s playgrounds and sports facilities.

In the past year, nearly £3m has been spent building a new community centre at Portchester and new changing rooms at Wicor Recreation Ground.[/quote]

12 Jul

Locks Heath Centre Update

Here is an exciting impression of what a makeover for Locks Heath Centre might look like. County Councillor Seán Woodward says:

“Locks Heath is a well used centre, but it needs investment. By expanding the centre, there is an opportunity to provide new shops, maybe a major store. It will improve the overall attractiveness of the centre to shoppers and help withstand competition from the new Whiteley shopping area. It’s extremely important the centre continues to be well used and viable.”

Seán feels there is a real opportunity to provide better public space and a new community campus that could include a swimming pool, leisure centre, library and youth facilities.

Fareham Council, the County Council and the private owners of the core shopping centre own the land. Fareham, as the planning authority, has laid down objectives to guide future development, which were used to produce a master plan with options.